It's official!! What do you think?

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It's official!! What do you think?

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    06-21-2009, 05:04 PM
It's official!! What do you think?

Indy is officially barefoot!

It did not happen until this morning but we (the farrier and I) have been working with him to strengthen the hoof walls as much as possible before pulling the shoes. I think he was a little curious as to why we were not sticking shoes back on his hooves, he kept looking down at them and just kind of staring. It was hilarious!

The new farrier was impressed with how well Indy behaved throughout the entire ordeal, said he was very well mannered.

We only had one "incident" during the entire three hour process. (Yes, it took three hours. This farrier was going nice and slow, only trimming a tiny bit at a time to make sure he wasn't overdoing it, especially since Indy is newly barefoot. He also took each nail out one at a time in order to minimize further destruction to Indy's hooves. I was really impressed with him!) When it came time to do the last hoof, the front left if you are facing Indy, he started to pin his ears, shake, jump backwards, and start to rear. He was clearly in pain. It took lots of baby carrots and soothing words to get him to stand still and get the shoe off. He literally did one nail, gave it a rest. Next nail, gave it a rest. He did not reprimand Indy or kick him when he got fidgety, just gave him a minute to relax and started up again. After we got the front left shoe off, Indy heaved a HUGE sigh and stood quietly for the rest of the process. Any idea what this could mean? Could there have been a nail putting pressure on part of his hoof? He has been fine with me cleaning his feet, it wasn't until the nails started being pulled out that he had a problem (and this didn't happen with any of the other feet!).

What we ended up doing was trimming, cleaning out the cracks, and applying bond-n-flex. The farrier has used it before (extensively) and swears by it. I think it should be interesting to see what happens.

I also have another question. He said that Indy's frogs had NO dead tissue or dead parts to trim away and he showed me how I could touch it and see how it was soft and warm. He did not want to disturb them or trim so much off the hoof that the frog was being slammed into the ground every time Indy took a step. I had noticed this to. Usually, his frogs get to be pretty hard (to the point where you can tap it with your finger and it's hard as a rock). Over the past two weeks I have noticed that they got softer and kind of warm. Is this because it has been raining absolutely non-stop and he lives outside?

Here are the pictures, let me know what you think!

P.S. Sorry it has been so long for an update! Things have been hectic with the end of the rowing season, the end of the school year, and just trying to find a job.

P.P.S. They aren't the best quality pictures because I was in a rush to take my father out to lunch, but I will get more from different angles tomorrow!

ETA: There was a little bit of thrush in some of the nail holes, there was no way I could have possibly known without seeing the shoe pulled off but his old farrier SHOULD have been able to tell. Do you think it came about after the old farrier last saw him? What should I do to clear it up? It's not bad, nor is it advanced very far but I want to nip it in the bud before it gets worse. Thanks!

And just for fun, we braided his mane the other day. Thought these pics were cute!

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    06-21-2009, 06:14 PM
Congrats! :) I'd recommend to keep a close look at him for first month or so to be sure he's not sore or anything. My horses frogs are pretty hard all the time, so I'd keep an eye on it being soft too. Let us know how he'll do as time goes!
    06-22-2009, 12:10 PM
Thanks kitten_Val! I will definitely be keeping a close on him for the next few months. I worked out a schedule to slowly introduce him back into training, starting with a ton of hand walking over the next few weeks (not a ton all at once, a ton over the few weeks ) I'll definitely keep you guys updated!!
    06-22-2009, 03:02 PM
It looks like he pared down the sole, that's a no no. Also the toes need to be rolled more, and the angles look really weird. You want the frog to make contact with the ground, that's what increases the blood flow.

Maybe Barefoot will pop in with her keen eye.
    06-22-2009, 06:22 PM
G & K's Mom: What does pared down the sole mean? I was hoping Barefoot would pop in as she was giving great advice in my other post a couple months ago. I agree that the toes need to be rolled more but he didn't want to change to much about his hoof since he was pulling the shoes. Honestly he barely trimmed anything and he kept it the same shape. Same angles etc. He should be back in two weeks to evaluate and do more work in terms of shaping the hoof. The frog is touching the ground, I just meant that he didn't want to trim more of his hoof because then his frogs would have been lower then the hoof causing all the pressure to be on the frog. He really didn't do much, Indy barely had any hoof growth since his last visit (by a diff. Farrier).

In terms of angle, how would we fix it?

I also realized that I took these pictures before he was finished, I will try to take new ones tomorrow. I meant to today but I was busy running around trying to find a bunch of things for my mom.
    06-23-2009, 05:23 AM
Good for Indy, being barefoot & welcome to the journey! Hopefully it will soon lead to Indy having healthy feet. Hopefully you've already done a fair bit of study into it, but be prepared to do a lot more - it's a steep learning curve! I recommend and Pete Ramey & Jaime Jacksons books, among many other good resources to start with.

I'm interested to know, how did the farrier go about helping you strengthen the walls prior to de-shoeing? Was this different to what he'd been doing previously?

3 hours is an incredibly long session! Indy is very patient to have coped with it. Unfortunately I don't agree that taking that long means the farrier was extra good or considerate. Perhaps he just hasn't had much practice? Regarding the painful incident, my first thought was that he was sore on the opposite front - therefore didn't like keeping the weight on that foot while the farrier worked on the other. If it was to do with the nails coming out, it could have been about having pressure of the pullers on a certain part of his foot that is abscessing.

What cracks does Indy have? What did the farrier use the bond n flex for? Cracks can usually be grown out/avoided with good trimming, including a mustang roll. By the look of his little frogs, I wouldn't expect them to be hard & strong. But yes, wet footing will make them soft. Ensuring there's at least some area that is dry for him to hang out in is a good idea. It is good that the farrier doesn't just routinely trim frogs - they should generally be left alone, except to trim off daggy shedding bits. But if they are thrushy, the infected material often needs to be removed, central cleft opened up, so they can be treated effectively. Regarding the thrush in the nail holes, who knows how long it's been there - could have come about in the last weeks due to the wet weather. With the length of his toes, I wouldn't worry - if they were backed up/rolled adequately he'd have precious little of the nail holes left. If you need to treat it, ensure the holes are open, not sealed or full of gunk, scrub his feet & use 'clean trax', 'thrush buster' or some such.

I agree too that in the case of sensitive frogs/digital cushions(unfortunately most horses) it is often a good idea to leave the heels slightly higher than is ideal to begin with, to provide a bit more protection. In this case, frog support pads in his boots would be a good idea to get the frogs into a position of support comfortably & gradually. On looking at the pics, I would say that the heels should come down substantially more now tho.

...I'll have to come back later & comment on pics - my kids need me right now...
    06-23-2009, 06:14 AM
The main things that strike me about the pics is that he has flared, stretched toes(can't tell anything of quarters from that angle) and quite high heels. The toes need to be backed up quite substantially & rolled, and the heels can be lowered a fair bit more. Hard to tell from the pics, but it looks as if the farrier may have taken too much wall from the ground surface & pared too much sole. As a rule, sole, like frog material shouldn't be pared except in the case of dead, flakey stuff. Especially in the case of a thin soled horse, I'd probably even leave the dead stuff & pare little if any. The walls should be taken down to at or near level with the outer rim of the sole from the ground surface, then rolled or backed up as needed. In Indy's case, the outer rim looks quite obvious at the toe, as the coffin bone seems to be 'dropped' and there is a gap between it & walls where the separated laminae are. I would be getting those heels down to a similar level asap & using boots, with pads if necessary to keep his feet fromfurther damage & allow him to exercise comfortably.
    06-23-2009, 07:58 AM
Loosie: Thank you so much! Great information & I will definitely check out those websites. I have done a ton of reading already but you can never stop learning!

A quick background update (I had another post about a month and a half ago on this topic). I got Indy close to two years ago. He has cracks all the way from almost the hairline down to the bottom of his hoof. Two on the left front one on the right front. They have not changed since I got him. We have tried supplements we have tried topical ointments on his feet. We have tried most things except barefoot. My farrier would not do it. Not even temporarily to help his hoof grow out. My friend recommended this guy and he came out, said he thought Indy could go barefoot, but we will re-evaluate over the next couple of weeks.

As for strengthening the walls he had me put Indy on "hoof-flex" I believe it's called and apply a coat of .. the name is escaping me at the moment ... This is a new farrier, so it was different from what the other guy was having me do.

So basically I am going to make a list of things that need to be done for Indy's feet the next time he comes out.
1. Toes backed up and rolled
2. Heels lowered

The reason I said it was good that he took so long was because Indy is [I]not[/I co-operative for the farrier. He continually tests to see if he can put his foot down, pulling it away, leaning, etc, etc. The OLD farrier would drop his foot grab him by the halter and kick him a good one in the ribs. Every time Indy tried to put his foot down. This NEW farrier would just put his foot down give him a rest and then keep going. That's what I mean by he was good and patient etc. The new guy has been trimming for thirty five years, and while that doesn't mean he is good at it, he has extensive (good) experience with horses that suffer from navicular. Excellent references. I am not sticking up for him, just letting you know what I know.

In terms of getting his heel down, how would I go about doing that? ( I mean obviously I call the farrier, but what is it that he does?) You talked about the coffin bone being dropped. Is this bad?

I am going to get him boots (the ones I ordered were JUST to small). Any recommendations on a brand?

Thank you so much!
    06-23-2009, 09:47 PM
Originally Posted by Solo    
He has cracks all the way from almost the hairline down to the bottom of his hoof. ....he thought Indy could go barefoot, but we will re-evaluate over the next couple of weeks.
Good trimming should lead to the cracks beginning to grow out. Unfortunately if he's kept in the manner he has been trimmed now, I wouldn't expect the cracks to improve.

IME, just about every horse can go barefoot in some situations, but most horses, no matter how good, bad or otherwise their feet are to begin with, will need protection to begin with(ie boots) and ongoing protection in some situations - eg stony tracks - which is generally due to management, rather than trimming or overall hoof health. Eg. Living & working on soft footing, likely not tough enough to go bare on stones.

The reason I said it was good that he took so long was because Indy is [i]not[/I co-operative for the farrier. He continually tests to see if he can put his foot down, pulling it away, leaning, etc, etc. The OLD farrier would drop his foot grab him by the halter and kick him a good one in the ribs.
Oh. No wonder the horse is terrible with the farrier! Poor boy. Yes, it's good that your new one was so considerate then. I had gathered that Indy was generally well behaved and that it just took this guy so long to trim, sorry. That he was effectively retraining him too means the time was likely necessary.

In terms of getting his heel down, how would I go about doing that? ( I mean obviously I call the farrier, but what is it that he does?) You talked about the coffin bone being dropped. Is this bad?
The heels need more rasped off them from the ground surface. Without being there & seeing your boy in person, I don't want to go into definite specifics - the pics could be misleading - but I would be taking them back to the level of the sole at the seat of the corn, and possibly trimming them every 2 weeks or so, to be able to get them down gradually more each time, as the sensitive parts recede back to where they should be & the frogs/digital cushions become stronger.

Yes, it's bad that the coffin bone has dropped, but not the end of the world at all & unfortunately common. It has dropped(well, looks like it - hopefully your farrier can see this, but an x-ray would also be a good idea IMO), because the horse has probably had laminitis which has weakened the wall connection. This combined with the extra stresses on the walls due to incorrect trimming & being kept in shoes has led to the coffin bone becoming lower in the hoof capsule, until the sole is flattish & thin rather than concaved. That his heels are also high means that the bone will be 'rotated' with the toe pointing towards the ground - that is the crescent shaped ridge you can see well inside the toe walls. The heels desperately need to be lowered to get the coffin bone more ground parallel & prevent him 'walking on his toe' which leads to 'navicular' damage.

I am going to get him boots (the ones I ordered were JUST to small). Any recommendations on a brand?
I think the easyboot range are generally best, as they sit below the hairline so don't rub. The new Gloves are easy to put on, also come in half sizes, so are likely to be a good fit(& you can get a 'fit kit' to try before you buy). They are also reasonably priced. However, I do think it depends on the horse, what you do with him, etc, as well as where you are & what's available there, as to what boots are best. Get onto the Easycare site & others to look at the differences. I would ensure the horse is *well* trimmed before measuring for them tho. He's likely to be much smaller than measurements you would get now.
    06-24-2009, 12:47 AM
I probably should have explained things better, my apologies! I was rushing to type everything up because I have been in and out at rowing & at the barn all day.

I am slightly confused because I thought it looked like his heels were too low to the ground, needing to be raised rather then lowered. I swear tomorrow I will get better pictures, from ALL angles.

Based on this picture

When you say that the coffin bone is dropped, do you mean that the front part is pointed more towards the ground or the entire thing has lowered towards the ground? The vet saw him recently, a couple of weeks ago, said his feet were great aside from the cracks. Could this have happened in a matter of weeks?

You also mentioned that he has probably had laminitis. Isn't this something that I would have been aware of? He hasn't taken a lame step since I've had him (this is the first major issue I have had with him!) and same thing with the owners before me (they only had him about half a year). Before that he lived on 170 acres with no human attention. No rings, no bruising, hNever been in the "stance", no heat, no problem lifting the feet, no problem with pressure anywhere on his hooves, and no swelling. The only thing that could even be related to laminitis is the flatness of the sole. I am going to check on that tomorrow however because today when I picked out his feet, I noticed how much stuff was in his hoof, which wouldn't happen if it was flat. Is it possible that that would be the only symptom of laminitis? I have honestly never had to deal with it before.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate all the advice and everything!

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